The University of Kansas basketball program has an enviable track record of successfully recruiting the best high school players in the world to play in Lawrence, Kansas (population 90,000). This article will outline the five reasons year after year top prep players desperately want to one day wear a Jayhawk uniform, and specifically why being in a small Kansas community is an advantage over programs in larger markets.
1. Success in the NBA
For many blue chip basketball recruits the ultimate goal is a big paycheck from an NBA franchise. Producing NBA talent is something the University of Kansas does almost like any other program in America. In an age of international competition and increased exposure for latecomers, it’s less common today than in years past for NBA rosters to be filled with players who all came from the same college. Despite the league’s global nature, Kansas still produces NBA all-stars such as Paul Piece and numerous other alumni (including eight other currently active players) who get paid very well to play basketball. In addition to the nine current NBA players, KU has produced nearly seventy former NBA players with the highest profile name on the list being that of Wilt Chamberlain, arguably the best player to ever play the game.
2. College success
Whether a youngster is a prospect planning to escape to the NBA after one season or a top-notch player expecting to stay four years to receive a diploma by having team success on the hardwood, it certainly makes for an experience. more pleasant. Few colleges in the country can offer the winning tradition that KU can offer. With thirteen appearances in the last four and teams lined up each season who are disappointed if they don’t get that far, KU is clearly a place that expects to win. The opportunity to compete for a conference championship and a national championship every year is very appealing to high school recruits.
3. Historical significance
Playing for a history program has a certain cache that both high school prospects and parents appreciate. While the lack of tradition certainly isn’t a deal breaker, it only helps that it is known as “one of the most legendary programs in collegiate sports.” In fact ESPN has actually ranked the University of Kansas as one of the two most prestigious basketball programs in the country (the other being Duke), a claim that is hard to argue with. When it comes to basketball historical significance, no other school can boast having James Naismith, the inventor of the game of basketball, as its first head coach (1898).
4. Elite training
In keeping with Dr. James Naismith’s mention, the topic of training is critical to developing a young person’s game to reach its peak potential. The history of coaching at the University of Kansas begins with Coach Naismith taking over the team just six years after personally setting the rules of the game and continues through the decades with a succession of accomplished coaches. Dr. Forrest C. “Phog” Allen played for Naismith and was his eventual successor as Kansas head coach. In honor of Coach Allen’s contributions, the current arena where the basketball team plays was named the Allen Field House, and a large permanent banner inside reads, “Beware All Entering: Beware of Phog!” In more recent history, respected NBA coach Larry Brown won a national title at Kansas in the 1980s before Roy Williams took over and ran a program that won an impressive 80% of its games over its fifteen-year career at KU. Charismatic Bill Self is the current head coach of the Jayhawks and although he has only held the position since the 2003-2004 season, Self has already won a national championship with Kansas.
5. Community of unconditional support
Finally, the fifth reason top recruits love to play basketball for the University of Kansas is because it is a basketball school that lives for its program and in turn respects and admires its players. In a city like Lawrence, Kansas, there’s nothing bigger than KU basketball. So it has been for over a hundred years and so it will be for the next hundred years. In the 21st century media age we live in today a player doesn’t have to play in New York City to gain national exposure. Lawrence Kansas offers all the exposure without any of the distractions.
In closing, the University of Kansas (commonly referred to simply as KU) wins basketball rookies by offering (1) a higher likelihood of success in the NBA, (2) winning college basketball experience, (3) an outstanding program historic, (4) world-class coaching, and (5) an incredibly supportive community that lives for Jayhawk basketball every winter.